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OUR SABBATH OR REST DAY
Some may now inquire, Do you then advocate a total disregard of Sunday, as well as the Jewish Sabbath? And if not do you not consider it more proper to call it Lord’s day’ than Sunday?
We answer the last question first by saying: Some men esteem one day above another and some esteem one name above another. As for us, one name will do as well as another and with the mind and heart clear, Sunday can contain as much beauty and force as Lord’s day or any other name. The Lord’s day for his great work of restitution is really the seventh day—the seventh thousand years, the Millennium just opening before us, and not the first day. Sunday suggests the fullness of light and glory from the Sun of Righteousness which will belong to the new and everlasting age following the Millennium of restitution. It suggests too the new dispensation and fullness of light unto which the Gospel church, the little flock, is ushered even now, breaking in upon our darkness first at and by the resurrection of our Lord.
Answering the previous question we would say: We have great sympathy with the idea of one day in seven being set apart from general work and business. It is good that the world should have a day for studying either from God’s great book of nature written in hill and vale and sky, or if desirous, to inquire of his children and his written Word concerning his present and future plans. As for God’s children, surely it is well, since any day can be well employed by them. It furnishes a specially favorable time for assembling together—no matter which day of the seven might be selected. We surely have none too much time and opportunity for personal upbuilding in the truth. But while we would not willingly part with an occasion so favorable, we would that all the saints should enjoy it as a favor and not observe it as in obedience to the Jewish Law. Many are in „bondage” to that Law and fail to reap the greatest blessing from the privilege of the day because conscious all the while that they are condemned by that Law if under it, well knowing that they do not live up to its strict requirements.
However, while God has not put us under a law to keep any day, the law of the country, made by the world, does bind us—for we must be „subject to the powers that be.” The world’s law is sufficiently liberal to give each well-doer an opportunity to use his conscience as to his own preference or manner of observing the day. On this as on other points, God has put no fixed law upon the world as upon the Jew, but has allowed the other nations to fix their laws according to their best judgment; and strangely enough all have copied more or less the Jewish laws as those best calculated to give them peace and prosperity. When the Church („the little flock”) is exalted and given the Kingdom and dominion under the whole heavens, with power to enforce its laws and direct all its affairs, then the whole world, every nation, will be put under a law which will produce grand results under the administration of the great Law-giver whom Moses foreshadowed.—Acts 3:22.
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How blessed is the state of all in Christ, as mature Sons of God under favor, not servants nor infants under Laws! (John 15:15; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:1-6.) How blessed to us is the true rest in Christ’s finished work, which rest neither the world nor the Law could give, and which from us that are free, they cannot take away. We can rest [enjoy Sabbath] whether the world has a Sabbath or not; whether any day or no day is commanded by human law, our rest abides. It lasts seven days in each week and twenty-four hours in each day, and is not broken by physical labor, nor is it dependent on physical ease. It is deep and lasting rest, and can be broken only by doubt—by a rejection of the basis on which it must abide—the ransom.
— September, 1887 —